02CE7: Healthy Work Obsession

Tuesday Lunch

Given business books like Good to Great, Scaling Up, Impact Players, and most recently Change to Strange, they all talk about a need to get people to become obsessed with what makes your business successful. Encouraging obsession in your workforce or even just your team sounds kinda crazy. But when you encounter the same thing over and over and over again in so many different books, maybe they're not being hyperbolic.

It's still a lot to ask for. How does one become obsessed with something like work? There's so much social media rhetoric on TikTok and other platforms that keep encouraging people to do the very opposite of being obsessed about work - it's all about work-life balance and in some cases just doing the bare minimum in order to somehow get back at capitalists everywhere. And no matter how progressive we try to be as a company, for many we're still going to be "just" a job, and changing that mindset is not an easy task.

But with every new book I read about improving the business, I get more excited. The challenge is figuring out how to get other people excited about all this too. How do I get people excited about this job - this company that I love so much? How do I get people to be obsessed about taking things to the next level and making us an even better organization?

This all begs the question - am I sufficiently obsessed? Do I even fit the criteria that all these books talk about? I'm pretty sure I'm on the right path, but I can't say with 100% certainty that I feel like I'm obsessed, too. Part of me likes the way things generally are and I like how we are a pretty liberal company and we nicely balance creativity with client fulfillment. But am I already obsessed? Shouldn't I be getting more done if I were truly obsessed about all this? Am I doing enough?

I don't often get this publicly introspective on this blog, but I think I need to do this now because there's so much more to get done and I need to keep going. I've never been big on motivation - I'll certainly work regardless of how I feel for the day. But I do want to do more and I need something to help me push further to work harder. I don't want to keep seeing all the challenges and feeling daunted by things and instead, I just want to treat each problem as a puzzle to be solved. I want to really give all this a go and see how far we'll fly, if at all.

The cherry on top for tonight was finishing the second season of The Bear. The first season was intense and fiery and a lot of craziness. The second season felt more thoughtful with a clearer plan for everyone and a LOT of great character-focused storytelling. But the way it climaxed in the Fishes episode and then delivered an unusual ending in The Bear was just perfect. And I want to have a healthy obsession for what I do without getting locked in a fridge because I don't have everything together. 

Healthy doesn't often go hand in hand with obsession, but I'm going to try to do just that. And that's not just a personal thing - that's still in line with the culture we've defined for the company. I just have to figure out how to put it all into practice and to get everyone else to see things in a similar light.